by Wildcat Dianne
October 31, 2006
IgoUgo arranged for us members to take a late-morning cruise along the Chicago River to see the many buildings and learn about the history of the Second City.
Upon arrival at the boat, we were greeted by the editors and other members who arrived before we did. Before boarding the boat, we had to pose for a picture with the boat company. These were on sale for a ridiculous amount after the completion of the cruise—not worth the price of real estate in my book.
After getting settled on board in the outdoor seating, we were greeted by our guide, Kevin, who was very informative and enthusiastic about the history of Chicago. There was so much information to soak up that I thought I would lose most of it in my head afterwards, but I didn't.
We passed several of Chicago's famous buildings, including The Mercantile Building, a huge building built in the early 20th century and owned by the Kennedy Family until 1998, when it was sold for a billion dollars. Other buildings on our route were the The Chicago Tribune Tower(1923-25), the neo-Gothic newspaper building that is still in existence today. We also passed the Sears Tower(more on that in another review) and several of Chicago's old and new skyscrapers, dating from as early as 1913. After the 1871 Fire, Chicago passed a law that made it mandatory that all buildings had to be built from stone and metal and not wood.
Kevin also mentioned that Chicago had floods a few years ago when city workers noticed some damage in the old pipes under the city and failed to report them. What then happened was major flooding that estimated in the millions and many heads rolled as consequences afterwards.
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day for the cruise. It was sunny and a little breezy, but that didn't affect me at all. It was nice to sit on the benches, take pictures, and enjoy the history of Chicago. A breeze did kick in near the end of the cruise, but my sweater protected me nicely.
The cruise lasted about 90 minutes, and many of us were sad to see it end. If you are interested in taking a cruise about Chicago, they last from May to October and cost about $20 per person or less for children and seniors. Dress warmly and bring your camera and tons of film.
From journal The Big Onion - Chicago